If you get nervous before interviews, you’re not alone. Most people experience some degree of stress during the interview process and sometimes a little bit of stress can actually help you perform better. But interview nerves are often a more serious problem, negatively impacting your ability to communicate your value, and causing you to lose out on great opportunities.
If this is you, here are some easy ways to minimize the problem:
Research the company, their products, and their culture in depth. Know as much as possible. Also, research the people who will be interviewing you. The more you know about the company and the people, the more confident you will feel.
Practice, practice, practice
Determine the key points you want to make during the interview and then practice telling stories that demonstrate those points. For example, if the company values initiative and forward-thinking, come up with a few stories that demonstrate your ability in these areas and practice telling them until you are comfortable. You won’t get a chance to use every story you prepare, but you’ll definitely be able to tell some of them.
There’s nothing worse than arriving for an interview in a frazzled state of mind. Avoid this by planning carefully. Choose the clothes you’ll wear a few days ahead (and check to make sure they’re clean, ironed and ready) and print out extra copies of your resume the day before.
Get there early
Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the interview so you’re not at the mercy of public transport or traffic delays. If you arrive early, just sit in your car and practice your stories, or go for a walk to clear your head.
Many people get nervous during interviews because they feel they’re being tested. I think it helps to reframe the interview in your mind – it’s not a test, it’s a meeting to help you and the employer determine whether this would be a good fit. Approaching the interview in this way can take a lot of the stress out of the experience.
If you see the interview as a test, it’s easy to view the interviewer as an interrogator rather than another human being with worries and concerns and foibles just like you. Practice thinking of the interviewer as a regular human being (and potential future colleague) and you’ll find some of your nerves dissipate.
Don’t go into the interview with an all or nothing mindset. This is just one job and if you don’t get it, there will be others. Realizing this can go a long way to de- stressing the experience.
The fact is, interview nerves are normal
Feeling nervous before an interview is perfectly normal, but if you’re one of those people whose nerves actually affect their interview performance, I hope you’ll try these seven strategies before your next interview. I promise they’ll make a big difference.